• Child protection with Muslim communities: considerations for non-Muslim-based orthodoxies/paradigms in child welfare and social work

      O’Leary, Patrick; Abdalla, Mohamad; Hutchinson, Aisha; Squire, Jason; Young, Amy; Griffith University; University of South Australia; University of Bedfordshire; King’s College London; University of Johannesburg; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2019-07-20)
      The care and protection of children are a concern that crosses ethnic, religious and national boundaries. How communities act on these concerns are informed by cultural and religious understandings of childhood and protection. Islam has specific teachings that relate to the care and guardianship of children and are interpreted in diverse ways across the Muslim world. Islamic teachings on child-care mostly overlap with Western understandings of child protection, but there can be some contested positions. This creates complexities for social workers intervening in Muslim communities where the basis of their intervention is primarily informed by a non-Muslim paradigm or occurs in secular legal contexts. The purpose of this article is to address at a broad level the issue of how overarching concepts of child protection and Islam influence social work practice with Muslim communities. It addresses a gap in practical applications of the synergy of  Islamic thinking with core social work practice in the field of child protection. For effective practice, it is argued that social work practitioners need to consider common ground in Islamic thinking on child protection rather than rely on Western frameworks. This requires further research to build evidence-based practice with Muslim families.